December 8th, 2017

How to Use Instagram for Your Influencer Marketing Strategy

Author: Eric Lynch
Eric Lynch
Partner & Director of Business Development

how to use instagram for your influencer marketing strategy

Word of mouth is and has always been the easiest way to gain new customers. When someone recommends what you do or make there’s a level of trust in your business that’s already established. So how can you translate that into social media? Instagram presents you with a great avenue for you to bolster your brand without incurring huge costs. Using Instagram for your influencer marketing strategy is as easy as asking.

What is Influencer Marketing?

I suppose this is the first question that we really need to sort out first. Influencer marketing is finding either a popular person or many people to recommend your product online. It’s basically word of mouth on a much larger scale. To dig a little deeper on the subject feel free to read Laura’s blog on the subject.

Instead of buying social media ads to promote your business to a wider audience, influencer marketing uses those that already use your product to promote you.

Who Makes a Good (or Bad) Influencer?

It’s a lot easier to answer the question of who makes a bad influencer, so let’s start there. It’s very tempting, especially when you’re just getting started on a platform like Instagram to simply put a few hundred dollars into a service and buy 100 or more followers.

buying instagram followers google search examples

This would fall under the bad influencer category. While yes, you’ll have hundreds of followers and dozens of likes for every post, are they really your target audience? Are they going to be promoting you to the appropriate people? Probably not.

So what makes a good influencer? Well we’d all love to have a sports star or popular figure promote our brand, but we’re not all huge companies who can afford to do that.

Maria Sharapova promoting Evian on Instagram

If you’re not Evian how do you get people to see what you’re doing? The answer is pretty simple, ask your customers, employees, friends, and family to do some work for you.

How Do You Create a Democratic Approach?

Let’s say you’re a store selling custom t-shirts. If 100 people come in to your store every day, there’s a potential for 100 new influencers. The strategy could go something like this:

  1. If they follow you on Instagram, you’ll follow back.
  2. If they take a picture of themselves wearing your shirt, and tag you they get $5 off their next purchase.
  3. If they get the most likes out of everyone that month that did this, the next shirt is on you.

Sure, this could cost you $500 every day in lost revenues once they all start doing it. But you’re also selling 500 shirts, promoting it to the hundreds of people that follow them. It doesn’t take long for word to spread that if you like this shirt, buy it here and spread the word and it becomes cheaper to shop there.

As for friends, employees, and family, well, they’re just there to promote and support your business because that’s what you do for each other. Besides, they probably have a bunch of your shirts already.

Wait! This Isn’t New at All

Well no of course not, there’s no such thing as new marketing. Marketing is taking old concepts and adapting them to new technology. This is a referral bonus, and influencer marketing is just word of mouth.

But just like referral discounts and word of mouth, it just works. People want to get something for their effort and you want more sales. It’s a transaction as old as time, and it’s just easy to do.

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